Distraction (per Wikipedia) – “the process of diverting the attention of an individual or group from a desired area of focus … caused by: the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention.” [emphasis added]
Aside from our sinful nature, distraction may be the single greatest challenge faced by mankind. Parents, teachers, ministers, and law enforcement officers deal with its consequences continually. Distraction can also be a hugely effective military and self-defense tool.
President Trump is a master of the art, as Erick pointed out earlier this year. While the media has been focused on his tweets, ongoing struggles with facts, and frequent egotistic posturing within his administration, Trump has presided over an expansion of conservative influence in the judicial system and large-scale cutbacks in federal regulations.
The result has been an incessant and terribly polarizing back-and-forth between liberals and Trump supporters on social media. While Facebook was rife with stories of questionable origin during the 2016 election season, 2017 has seen an explosion of the same kind of tripe on Twitter.
That die-hard Trump apologists have willingly jumped into the swirling cesspool is not surprising; that many true conservatives have done so is alarming. In doing so, we lose sight of the true goal of advancing conservatism, and risk the loss of hard-fought gains that have already been won.
Case in point: the recent near-loss of the adoption tax credit. While many were distracted by the endless and useless social media arguments over gun control and Russian collusion, Congressional Republicans nearly threw away what should be a cornerstone conservative position. Thankfully Resurgent regulars led the way in calling and emailing Washington to save the credit – and in the process helped to save lives.
Conservatism is not about one man or even one administration. It’s not about a team. And it’s certainly not about winning at all costs or defending indefensible behavior just because “one of ours” is involved.
It’s about ideas and ideals. It’s about personal freedom. Limited government. Private property.
Most importantly, it’s about life.
This week I was reminded how important it is to remain focused while stopping by our local crisis pregnancy center to drop off something. The new center director was so glad to see me that I felt like Santa Claus. Not because I brought anything of great material value, but just because a fresh face had walked in the door.
To say that it was a bit of a wake-up call is putting it mildly.
The modern rush to fulfill personal obligations leaves us with little free time. Spending some of that time trying to argue for conservatism on social media is fine, but when that becomes our focus it’s easy to forget that there are people out there in the trenches literally fighting for life – and they could use our help.